Attoyac Bayou stakeholder meeting draws a crowd
Turnout for the first public meeting regarding the development of a watershed protection plan for Attoyac Bayou was high, according to Lucas Gregory, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) project manager for the Attoyac Bayou restoration effort. The meeting was held July 15 in Nacogdoches and hosted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
“We had approximately 75 people in attendance who represented a diverse group including landowners and land/resource managers, livestock and timber industry representatives, recreation and wildlife representatives, local elected officials as well as state and federal agency personnel,” Gregory said. “This really shows how much people in and around the Attoyac Bayou Watershed care about what goes on in their watershed. “
Presentations illustrated the historic water quality of the bayou, an overview of the state and federal statutes that warrant actions to restore water quality in the watershed, the planned approach to assessing the watershed, the process for developing a watershed-specific management plan, and the need to form a cohesive watershed partnership, Gregory said
AgriLife Extension and Texas AgriLife Research are working with local citizens to evaluate water quality and examine watershed management options that can be voluntarily implemented to reduce bacteria levels in the Attoyac Bayou to meet Texas Surface Water Quality Standards. Attoyac Bayou and its tributaries flow through portions of Rusk, Shelby, Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties.
The delivery of the Texas Watershed Steward (TWS) program is the next step in the process and will be hosted at Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 9. TWS is a free, day-long science-based, watershed education program to help citizens identify and take action to address local water quality impairments. Pre-registration is required and available online at tws.tamu.edu.
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board has provided funding for the development of the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan through a Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, see the project website at attoyac.tamu.edu or contact Anthony Castilaw, watershed coordinator, at 936.559.9991.